Being Beta

Exercises in the higher banter with One of 26. Elsewhere called 'poet of adland'. By a whipple-squeezer. Find out why being beta is the new alpha: betarish at googlemail dot com

Monday, September 26, 2011

Commercial: On Bullmore, Hegarty and the Saatchis

Quite by chance, it has been a week of CPD. Last Tuesday I attended the latest 44 Club talk, Jeremy Bullmore in conversation. This weekend, with a giddying rapidity, I have gone through John Hegarty's 'Turning Intelligence Into Magic', and M&C Saatchi's 'Brutal Simplicity of Thought'.

The latter need not detain us long; if you read the feature in last Thursday's 'Campaign', you'll have read the introduction, and the majority of the examples in the sparse pages that follow appear to confuse 'simple' and 'simplification'. Still, no doubt they are laughing at me at shelling out £10 for such a rip off. (I'll blog some fuller notes on Bullmore and Hegarty later this week.)

I've been looking to see if there's any meta-notes or narratives that I can give you, having been so immersed in three disparate but inter-linked world-views over the last few days.

All, as you would expect, give primacy to creative, though only Bullmore was sufficiently cautious as to the actual power and impact that it might have.

The one thing all three do end up centring on is the idea that a brand must be 'famous' too, not just that the creative works in its own terms, towards or on its intended audience. That's to say, you should know about or have heard of or a brand, even if you never intend to buy it, or be in its audience. Because its only with that sort of fame, or 'saliency', as Bullmore puts it, that you can actually begin to have the conversations that you really want to have with the people that you think you can make money from.

So, you can hear this, and try to disagree with Bullmore when he asks to you to name something other than Google that has been made world famous by the internet alone. And hear as well an interesting new argument for older agencies to make: you need to be famous; and we can help you get there, as we know how to use old and new media together, to make you famous, by creating stuff that makes your brand entertaining. More than ever, we have to be studio impressarios. The rationality (and the ROI) can wait.

Interesting. But will the clients buy it?



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